BP ( BP) plans to sell Innovene, its olefins, derivatives and refining group, to U.K.-based chemicals company INEOS for $9 billion.

The sale includes all of Innovene's manufacturing sites and technologies. Oil and gas giant BP expects to complete the sale early in 2006.

London-based BP first disclosed plans to separate its olefins and derivatives business from its petrochemicals portfolio in April 2004, with an initial public offering as one possible disposal option.

BP said on its Web site that "the decision to sell Innovene in its entirety removed any uncertainty around market conditions at the time of an IPO, as well as would-be investors' concerns about BP's remaining stake and future intentions."

Innovene has 8,000 workers and manufacturing facilities in seven countries. The operation had $18 billion of revenue in 2004. The Innovene business includes two refineries, one in the U.K. and the other in France.

Shares of BP were rising 30 cents to $65.90 in recent New York Stock Exchange trading.

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